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Sat May 25, 2013, 01:48 PM May 2013

State rejects Oakland’s redevelopment deals — $32.5 million in refunds

In the waning months of local redevelopment agencies in 2011, Oakland sold an array of buildings to its own Redevelopment Agency to shield tens of millions of dollars. In the end it didn’t work, but it did buy the city time.

On Thursday, Oakland officials announced that the state had rejected eight of those property sales, including the $28.3 million sale of the shuttered and dilapidated Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center.

The state Department of Finance’s decision means that Oakland officials will have to refund $32.5 million, which will go to a variety of city and county agencies. City officials said that amount had already been set aside as a precaution. Roughly $10 million of that money will come back to Oakland because of the way redevelopment money is re-distributed.

“Due to prudent financial planning, the state’s findings will have no impact on the city’s finances,” City Administrator Deanna Santana said in a statement. She said the payment would be made “under protest,” allowing the city to challenge the decision in court.


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